In 1995 there was an episode of Seinfeld called “The Pool Guy” but most likely recall it better as the Independent George episode. In the episode, Elaine becomes friends with Susan (Georges girlfriend) and this kills ‘Independent George’. Here is a good video snip. The core issue is that Georges sanctuary he has with his friends is no longer a safe place, he is able to be one version of himself (independent) with his friends and another version (relationship) with Susan and now ‘worlds are colliding’. This type of issue is common when we are not true to who we are and a recent article in the paper about the Minnesota House of Representatives got me thinking more about that.
The Minnesota House recently took a vote on the following sentence, “The legislature finds and declares that greenhouse gas emissions resulting from human activities are a key cause of climate change.” There was no policy and no money tied to this at all, it was merely an opportunity to acknowledge a serious issue. The vote passed, but sadly 50 of the 54 Republicans voted “No”. Despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary, these “representatives” of the people fell back to tired arguments about the ice age, the sun, the science being unsettled, and so on. Every single democrat voted yes and the way the votes fell along party lines got me thinking about the killing of independent thought. Our government and our country seem so divided currently that the default is to disagree or oppose whatever the other party is doing, or agree with whatever your party is doing, at all costs. What is really needed to let worlds collide and be true to who you are as an individual.
I have also been thinking that it might be time to break ground on a Climate Change wall of shame monument or similar. I envision some sort of memorial where future generations can visit and see the names etched in stone on a very public display and read archives inside an adjacent museum about those who continued to deny basic science in the 21st century. Regardless of if their motivations are ignorance, corruption, personal greed, mis-education, or just a basic lack of empathy towards civilization; the names below in red deserve a place on this wall memorial.
Lastly, I would like to send a thank you to the four Republicans who embraced their independent and relationship George and voted yes; Tony Jurgens (Cottage Grove), Dean Urdahl (Grove City), Nolan West (Blaine), and fellow Tesla driver Pat Garafalo (Farmington).